TAMPA ― With still more than a week to go before he returns to Gillette Stadium, Tom Brady on Thursday addressed his 20 years with the Patriots.
Earlier this week, Brady’s father told NBC Boston that he and his son felt both vindicated by Brady winning Super Bowl 55 in his first year with the Bucs.
“Damn right,” Tom Brady Sr. said.
Brady’s father claimed that Patriots coach Bill Belichick wanted his son out the door in New England.
“(Brady) is more than happy that he’s moved on, because it was pretty obvious that the Patriots regime felt that it was time for him to move on,” Tom Brady Sr. said. “And frankly, it may have well been perfect to move on from him.”
Without directly addressing his dad’s comments, Brady made it clear Thursday that people “want to protect” him.
“Everyone has protected feelings and emotions as friends and family members, and that’s just part of being in sports,” Brady said. “You have a lot of people who, because they’re not out there, they just want to protect, and it’s a caring, loving thing that a lot of people do.
“But from my standpoint, I had a great time. But really, my focus has been on trying to be the best that I could be for this team and try to go out and be a winning quarterback, be a championship-level quarterback for this team, this organization, because they certainly deserve it.”
As for his 20 seasons in New England, Brady gave a default answer.
“I have great respect and admiration for my time there,” he said. “I had 20 great years there. I kind of spoke that the last 18 months. It was a great time in my life. But I’m really happy being (in Tampa Bay), and I think we’ve done some great things in a short period of time. I really love the teammates that I’m playing with here. I love the coaches. The organization has been amazing. Again, just a lot of gratitude.”
Regardless, Brady’s father said he believes it will be an emotional return to New England on Oct. 4 for the former Patriots quarterback.
“Very nostalgic,” Brady Sr. said. “The fans embraced Tommy, the city embraced Tommy, and the team embraced Tommy for a while. And so, when he comes home, it’s gonna be a real treat that he spent 20 years making his mark in Boston. We owe a lot to the Patriots and a lot to Boston.”
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